Module: Landscape Conservation

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Ian Grange
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    200 hours
  • Contact hrs

    45 hours
  • Teaching Period

    Semester 1

Module content

This module will explore landscape as a reflection of identity and diversity, its classification for character and use, the rationale behind Natural Areas and National Character Areas and their application in strategic and spatial planning, opportunity mapping and site protection at the landscape scale together with their role as a management tool.

Specifically, students will be required to consider a ‘typical’ landscape which contains high priority sites noted for their habitats, species and heritage (physical and cultural). The core assessment of the module will be to determine how best to connect these priority habitats, using ecological principals, whilst considering the heritage and farming values. As the ‘ecological connectivity’ will take place over the wider landscape area, most of the focus will be placed on strategic management in the wider countryside, between the priority areas.

As part of the programme, students will examine the technologies, including geographical information systems (GIS), used as management tools for landscape modelling and analyses, using contrasting examples which identify key areas to be ecologically connected exploring impacts of land use and heritage value.

The module also assists with the development of academic skills in readiness for possible progression to a BSc top-up year and the resulting honours dissertation. Indeed, a similar dissertation framework to that used in the honours year is adopted in this module, and students will be given the opportunity to produce some original knowledge as one outcome of this research project.

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Analyse the use of different landscape classifications to describe landscape as a resource, the opportunities detected from such analysis and their application in the decision-making process;
  2. Recognise and evaluate competing demands on a landscape;
  3. Understand the main legislative, organisation and policy contexts and associated funding regimes relevant to landscape conservation including outlining the framework for designation of sites in relation to conservation management. To recognise and utilize GIS as a critical tool used across the sector.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Presentation of proposal (10 minutes) 10%
Coursework Research project (3000 words) 80%
Coursework Poster presentation (10 minutes) 10%

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Catchpole, R. (Ed.) (2009). Ecological networks: science and practice: proceedings: 16th annual conference of the International Association of Landscape Ecology (UK chapter), Edinburgh University, 1-3 September 2009.
  • De Smith, M.J., Goodchild, M.F. and Longley, P.A. (2015). Geospatial analysis - A comprehensive guide to principles, techniques and software tools. 5th ed. University College London. Available online:
  • Eycott, A., Scott, D. and Smithers, R. (Eds.) (2010). Future landscape ecology: proceedings: 17th annual meeting of the International Association of Landscape Ecology (UK chapter), University of Brighton, 13-16 September 2010
  • Greetham, B. (2013) How to write better essays. 3rd ed. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 9th ed. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Rackham, O. (2003) The illustrated history of the countryside. abridged edition of 1994. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
  • Wadsworth, R. and Treweek, J. (1999) GIS for ecology: an introduction. Addison Wesley Longman.
  • Wegmann, M., Leutner, B. and Dech, S. (2016) Remote Sensing and GIS for Ecologists: Using Open Source Software. Pelagic Publishing.
  • Wheatley, D. and Gillings, M. (2002) Spatial technology and archaeology: The archaeological applications of GIS. Taylor & Francis.
  • Wildlife Trusts (no date) A living landscape: a call to restore the UK's battered ecosystems, for wildlife and people: summary. [Pamphlet] The Wildlife Trusts.
  • Wheatley, D. and Gillings, M. (2002). Spatial technology and archaeology: the archaeological applications of GIS. Taylor & Francis.
  • Worboys, G.L. Francis, W.L. and Lockwood, M. (2010). Connectivity conservation management: A global guide. Earthscan.
  • Conservation Biology
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Landscape Ecology